Posted by Kerry Grissett on November 23, 2003 at 23:19:40:
In Reply to: Re: Guntersville CRAPPIE posted by Poorboy on November 23, 2003 at 06:49:28:
I guess we will have to disagree on that point. With very few exceptions at least for me, a 9 inch crappie yields such a small fillet that it dries out even with my cooking it at 350 for only 2.5 minutes.
One reason I think the 9 inch limit is too low...
Although the DCNR says that, on average, crappie in this area take about 3 years to grow to 9 inches and considering that the average life-span of a crappie is from 5 to at most 7 years, the DCNR feels that it is reasonable to let folks harvest fish that are 3 years old.
I can understand that reasoning, but I am not sure and have not seen any evidence that those 3 year old, 9 inch crappie have very successful spawns. Maybe they do, but I haven't seen the evidence. Not to mention that, although you disagree with me, I still say most 9 inch crappie (whether you use a regular fillet knife or electric knife and I use both with equally great success) doesn't yield enough meat to make it worth taking.
Also, those who think taking the larger fish hurts the population of crappie aren't taking into consideration the average life-span of a crappie. A larger/older crappie has had more years to spawn and reproduce its genes. Since the larger crappie don't have as long to live and spawn, it makes sense to take them and leave the smaller fish who have more years to spawn.
Personally, I like crappie in the 3/4 to 1-1/4 pound range for filleting. The fillets don't dry out when fried at 350 for 2.5 to 3 minutes. The fish are easy to fillet and have had a good chance to spawn and reproduce.
Of course, to each his own preference.
Good luck and good fishin'
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